Battle of Helm's Deep
|The Two Towers||
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|Ents of Fangorn|
|Battle of Helm's Deep|
|Name||Battle of Helm's Deep|
|Platforms||Paper, LotR-O, GEMP, mLOTRO, Tabletop Simulator, Lackey, gccg|
Set 5, Battle of Helm's Deep (or BOHD) is the first expansion of Towers Block, and the fifth set overall. It was released on March 12, 2003 and included many of the block's core concepts that Decipher wasn't able to release before The Two Towers movie came to theaters.
- Evil-smelling Fens (5U22)
- Gollum, Stinker (5R25)
- Citadel of the Stars (5C32)
- Gríma, Chief Counselor (5R51)
- Dead Marshes (5R95)
- Sting, Baggins Heirloom (5R116)
For this set, Decipher decided to experiment with removing the 3 random Rare cards that normally came in a Starter Deck, and replacing them with fixed Alternate Image "rares" which thematically suited the deck. While the power level of the decks as playable specimens increased, the perceived value of these decks took a nosedive as there was no longer any reason for collectors to buy more than one. Decipher tried once more with Ents of Fangorn, and after that restored the random rares with The Return of the King and all following sets.
This set contained the debut of the Gollum culture, as Decipher was not licensed to spoil images of Sméagol/Gollum before The Two Towers released in theaters. This culture broke new ground by being the first (and so far, only) culture to have both Free Peoples and Shadow cards, centrally the inclusion of both the Minion Gollum and the Companion Sméagol. Mechanically, this captured the internal struggle of the character perfectly; not only could Sméagol help the Fellowship while Gollum attacked it, but you could even assign Sméagol to skirmish Gollum, and watch his internal war play out on the table.
BOHD also marked the re-introduction of the Sauron culture, which had been absent in the base set.
New unloaded keywords
- Knight, a new subculture for Gondor representing the soldiers of Minas Tirith.
- Fortification, a type of condition representing defensive structures. While it is used a bit by Rohan, this is really a Gondor staple.
- Warg-rider, a subculture of Isengard Orcs which can ride Warg Mounts.
- Uruk-hai Berserkers, which prefer to be close to exhaustion and have ways of self-exerting to enable that.
- Widely expanded the number of cards with or referencing the Machine and Valiant keywords
- Mumakil and Warg mounts
- Sauron Trackers that lower site numbers rather than roaming costs